German companies are involved in Italy in a variety of ways. Italy’s highly developed and diversified industry of the northern regions in particular offers a lot of potential for German SMEs to optimize the value chain through acquisitions or investments. Due to their small size, Italian companies have a high degree of flexibility. Flexibility and consideration for regional characteristics are the best guarantees for successful business in Italy.
Yvonne Heidler, a VDMA foreign trade officer, gave an overview of the machinery trade between Germany and Italy at the “Market Update Italy” event on October 5, 2022. She explained in detail the close ties with Italy in the field of machinery trade. In 2021, German machinery shipments to Italy grew by 23.7 percent and amounted to 4.7 billion euros. It is particularly encouraging that Germany remains by far Italy’s most important machinery importer. Around 28 percent of Italy’s machinery imports come from Germany, followed by China (15.1 percent), France (7.5 percent) and the Netherlands (5.0 percent).
Sebastian Euchenhofer, Team Leader – Market & Business Development at AHK Italy, presented an industry check on the opportunities arising in Italy from the EU reconstruction fund. He pointed out good prospects for the German mechanical engineering industry on the Italian market in the short and medium term. In an engaging presentation, he addressed the current economic situation and highlighted activities that have emerged from money from the EU Reconstruction Fund, such as in the areas of digitalization, ecological change, infrastructure, education and research.
Rüdiger Knevels, Chief Executive Officer at Rollon GmbH, explained in his practical report from the company’s point of view how Rollon, a specialist in linear motion systems, was able to create a strong market position in Italy through customized product solutions. He addressed the industrial structure of the customer base in Italy and explained how a strong market position can be achieved through a consistent focus on customer needs as well as on customer-specific solutions and with direct, fast customer contact at the local level. For him, the key to success in the demanding Italian market is customer specification. In direct sales with a team of sales engineers, Rollon is close to the customer and has successively opened up new sales groups, for example in the areas of fashion (store fittings), furniture construction or the marine industry (yachts).
The conclusion of the event: Italy – an attractive market in the neighborhood, which is not easy, but worthwhile for the mechanical and plant engineering industry.
The event was offered by ProduktionNRW. ProduktionNRW is the competence network for mechanical engineering and production technology in North Rhine-Westphalia and is run by VDMA NRW. ProduktionNRW sees itself as a platform to connect, inform and market companies, institutions and networks among each other and along the value chain. Significant parts of the services provided by ProduktionNRW are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).